Good Monday morning! May our time together and with God be a blessing to us all. Let’s get started… Matthew 17: 1-8 (NIV) 17 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
During this morning’s sermon, for some reason…some questions popped up about Peter: Why did Matthew include Peter’s words of verses 4 & 5? They seem sorta out of place….What was he saying and why? And why was Peter the only one of the disciples to speak up?
First of all, Pastor’s leading us through Matthew’s account of Jesus Transfiguration was fantastic…and yes… He is the ONE! Listen to Him.
I don’t know why, but when Peter is in the story, it resonates with me…touches me…I think that when Peter is talking to Jesus in vs 4, he’s just flat out full of joy and amazement to be in the presence of the Glory of the Lord. Here he is…one of three..of the twelve…chosen by Jesus to experience what is now unfolding. And why build tents or tabernacles? Maybe to honor the moment….maybe not wanting the moment to end or maybe it was a new tent of meeting…who knows for sure, but one thing is for sure…he spoke up, he took a chance to engage..live in moment walking with Jesus! How I yearn for that kind of courage.
And then another thought crossed my mind….How did he recognize Moses and Elijah? Moses, who died before the Lord, whose grave God alone knew….and Elijah, whom God took up to heaven in a fiery chariot. Then it struck me…the conversation that Jesus had with the disciples 6 days ago: Jesus asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. (Matt 16: 15-17) Recognition of who Jesus is must come from God!
Peter saw it all…not because of anything he had done, but by the Father! Peter was on a journey…a journey with Jesus that had been marked out by God the Father…a journey that included walking on water and then being rebuked for his smallness of faith, but yet the hand of his Messiah lifted him up….a journey that included denying knowing Christ and then, Peter suffering the agony of his betrayal, and yet, when Christ is risen, the word is sent to the disciples..and Peter..to meet him in Galilee….Jesus reaching out to him, once again.
And then these final verses came to life…6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
“Jesus ever kind, gentle and sympathetic, stepped forward. In His touch was a world of understanding and cheering assurance. He urged them to arise and cast aside their fears. Thus strengthened, they took courage to lift up their eyes and saw no one but only Jesus.” (The Popular Commentary of the Bible by Paul E. Kretzmann)
Yes, Jesus is the ONE….may all our eyes be so lifted!
Blessings to you and yours! jim